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Meet the Titan Supercomputer and the World’s Fastest Storage System


Courtesy ISHA SURI, SiliconAlngle

We already know the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as world’s most powerful supercomputer. So, here comes another entitlement for this supercomputer as ‘World’s fastest storage system’. According to the Oak Ridge, Titan supercomputer will have world’s fastest storage at 1.4TB/s.

Prior to this, Titan had 10 petabytes of storage, running at 240GB/sec. With the new storage speed of 1.4TB/s, Titan becomes a 299,008-core computer that sports 710TB of memory, with a split of 598TB dedicated to the CPUs and 112TB to the GPUs.

Oak Ridge has always been working to improve the performance and speed of Titan, and with this new development it has added a new file system that has 40PB of storage. DataDirect Networks (DDN) has built the storage system for Titan. DDN used 36 SFA12K-40 storage systems, each of which contains around 1.12PB of storage capacity, to build Titan’s new storage system, named as Spider II. According to Oak Ridge, the storage capacity of Titan is so enormous that it is the equivalent of 227,000 miles of stacked books, or the distance from Oak Ridge’s facility in Tennessee to the moon.

“The hardware delivery portion of the contract with DataDirect Networks is worth $8.6 million. That includes a one-year warranty. There are maintenance options for years two through five worth a total of $1.2 million. If all options are executed by ORNL, the total value of the contract is $9.8 million,” said ORNL spokesman Ron Walli.

With its giant storage capacity of 40PB of storage and 1.4TB/s peak performance, Titan can store and access your entire Steam library faster than you can add every game on Steam to your cart.

“The world’s toughest questions demand the toughest storage and the fastest technology to drive new levels of scientific insight. DDN has spent the better part of a decade engineering a platform that is built precisely and efficiently for today’s Big Data challenges. As applications everywhere – from energy exploration to climate modeling to energy efficient car manufacturing – continue to drive extreme levels of computational simulation and data analytics, we’re proud to provide the data storage technology that makes such innovation and economic competitiveness possible. We’re honored to continue our long-standing partnership with ORNL today and to be part of the future of Big Data and exascale computing tomorrow,” said Jean-Luc Chatelain, Chief Technology Officer at DDN.

Not that music lovers or gamers aren’t drooling over this potential capacity and speed. The Titan supercomputer’s engineering is still a testament to technology’s ingenuity and a glimpse of things to come. Research likes to live on the bleeding edge and DataDirect Networks provided a sharp one.

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